(pretty sad that I have so few pictures of my three together as adults. This one was taken 6 years ago at my oldest, beautiful daughter's wedding).My family means everything to me. I have three amazing children, (above), all grown and productive, Anyone who has had children know there were certainly trials and sacrifices along the way but the outcome is hugely satisfactory. I LOVE them with a fierceness that surprises me. In the past six years those three have produced 7 children which, of course, are grandchildren to me. I LOVE them.
I have so much to be thankful for, but for this post want to focus on how I got to where I am now as an artist.
I really had No Idea how much I yearned to explore this side of me. For thirty years I have dedicated my life to raising and educating kids. I have been a school teacher in 2nd through 9th grades and have given 100% to that endeavor.
Here are a couple of pictures showing you how goofy my life as a elementary school teacher could be.
About a year ago, I knew that I was at the top of my game in teaching, but I was feeling it was time to move on. I had other things I was aching to do. I retired in June and by August I had renovated a spare room, turning it into my creative space.
My journey has been documented in this blog. I am only three months into my (official) life as an artist but in that time I have taken three e-classes, joined a large artist community, signed up for an art retreat out of state, read countless art books, explored, experimented and plunged into painting on a regular basis. I have created an artist Facebook page, an Etsy shop and this blog. I am serious and I am so thankful for the opportunity.
Since I was a little kid, I have always been happiest creating. I learned to use a sewing machine at the age of 8, and by the following year I was sewing clothes for myself and my dolls. I lived on acreage where there were woods to explore, claybanks to scavenge, chicken houses to renovate into a playhouse and camps in the forest. We did not own a TV and I was never bored.
(This picture is of me, in the middle, with my two sisters, my mother, aunt and father. I love the innocence of those days in the 50's.
I love everything about that time of my life. )
When I was in high school, I decided that I wanted to be an interior designer. I took extra Home Ec classes and art classes. When I got to college I wasn't as committed to that idea and ended up with a major in Clothing, Textiles and Art. I did not have the resources to plunge into Fashion Design in Seattle in the 60's, and I needed to support a husband going through law school, so I ended up going back to college to get a teaching degree.
I am SO thankful for my career as a teacher. It was rewarding on many levels, and most certainly, never dull. What that experience is providing me now is a bit of retirement security while I explore this next phase in my life. Now that I am retired, I am so thankful to have something that intrigues me, causes me to learn, and is always there to turn to when I have some time. which is pretty much whenever I want. And that is the way it should be. I put in my time, as a parent and as a teacher, and now I get to play.
It is just so right and I am so thankful that this is my life right now.
Here is some recent "fun" art to share with you.
And now, (after you leave me a sweet gratitude comment (<3 ), circle round to my friend, Kelli Watcherson's blog to continue our personal thoughts on being thankful.